4.4.11 Promotion Dossiers

It is the individual's responsibility to present the best case for promotion since he or she is most clearly involved in the outcome. It is extremely important that the dossier be well organized and carefully prepared because superfluous or confusing information may obscure more than it enhances one's qualifications and achievements. Unless otherwise noted in the faculty appointment letter, all work in rank, even if conducted at other institutions of higher education, shall be considered for promotion and tenure. It shall be the faculty's responsibility to include evidence of this work in his/her dossier and to clearly identify when and where this work was performed. (Rev. 5/10/07).

All dossiers should be organized under the following headings in this order:

  1. Introductory Material
    1. Contents and Guidelines
      1. Recommendation for Promotion Form
      2. A table of contents
      3. A copy of the University, college, and department promotion and tenure criteria
    2. Application for Promotion
      1. Candidate's letter requesting promotion
      2. A curriculum vitae
      3. Candidate's statement (optional)
    3. Two and Four Year Reviews for Faculty Seeking Promotion to Associate Professor
      1. Reviews conducted by the corresponding department committee
      2. Reviews or evaluations conducted by the department chair
    4. Internal Recommendations
      1. The department committee's recommendation
      2. The chairperson's recommendation
      3. College committee's recommendation (if any)
      4. Dean or director's recommendation or endorsement
      5. University committee's recommendation
      6. Any appeal materials (appeals and rebuttals)
    5. External Recommendations

1. List of the external reviewers who were nominated by the candidate versus those nominated by the department, and the criteria used to request from specific reviewers

2. Procedure for choosing external reviewers (See Section 4.4.12) (Rev 3/5/19)

  1. Letters of evaluation from peer reviewers together with supporting material. These letters will be numbered sequentially for reference. (Rev. 5/2016)
  2. Evidential Materials
    1. Teaching

      Teaching is an extremely important factor in promotion decisions and one must incorporate into the dossier several kinds of evidence. Possibilities include:

    • Teaching narrative with self-evaluation and teaching philosophy.

    • In-person classroom observation and evaluation in course(s) taught by the candidate, done by university faculty and/or staff, chosen for their pedagogical expertise.

    • A collection of recent syllabi, examinations, assignments, and/or other teaching materials. The candidate might annotate these materials to indicate what learning goals they address, how and why they are used, and their effectiveness.

    • Attendance in teaching workshops, possibly with reflections on how the workshop informed and improved teaching.

    • Incorporation of best practices (perhaps as evidenced in empirical studies) into the classroom.

    • Evidence of student learning (e.g standardized test results, samples of student work, pre/post assessment).

    • Testimonials from a selection of former and current undergraduate and/or graduate students. The procedures for drawing the sample should be clearly described.

    • Teaching awards (e.g., Faculty Senate Excellence in Teaching).

    • Sample comments from student course feedback (collected using institutional measures). The means by which these samples were selected should be provided.

    • Quantitative student course feedback (collected using institutional measures) properly tabulated and summarized. The procedures used in administering the feedback should also be described in context. Where available, comparable departmental measures should be provided. Student course feedback can reflect unconscious bias and may not reflect student learning. Such measures should only be considered in conjunction with other indicators of teaching quality. (Rev 4/24/19)

    1. Scholarship
      1. Evidence of scholarly attainment including:
        1. Published Materials. Books, refereed and other articles, conference proceedings, works of art, recordings, and other permanent additions to the candidate's field are to be listed in the dossier. For all of these works, the candidate should make clear the extent to which the work has been peer reviewed. For collaborative works, the candidate's contributions (e.g., percent effort, specific activities performed, etc.) should be clearly indicated. Different fields have entirely different traditions that determine the order of names associated with these works (e.g., alphabetically or by seniority) and the significance of the order of the names should be clearly stated in the dossier. The ratinale for the choice of journals chosen for publishing one's work should be clearly indicated, as well as the level to which the works have contributed to the field.
        2. Awards and prizes.
        3. Lectures/presentations/performances at other institutions or conferences, specifying if these were local, national, or international, and whether they were peer-reviewed or not.
        4. Unsolicited External Evaluations. There are other kinds of information that can be interpreted as external evaluations, although not of the same kind as derived through solicitation. This material, which should also be included in the dossier since it too describes the candidate's accomplishments, includes among others: articles citing the individual's work and the reasons for its importance; reprinting of articles or parts of books in collections of distinguished contributions to a subject, and so forth.
        5. Professional Activity Prior to University Employment. It is expected that for promotion, the candidate must offer clear evidence of substantial scholarly achievement made after the awarding of the doctorate or other appropriate terminal degree or postdoctoral work. The research involved for that degree or postdoctoral  work was one of the reasons for initial employment; promotion, on the other hand, must consider evidence of scholarship accomplished subsequent to that performed for the degree or postdoctoral  work. However, this  requirement does not mean that publications based on the dissertation or postdoctoral work should be totally ignored.Additionally, new publications based on previously collected large datasets may have merit in certain disciplines. Through mentoring, departmental P&T guidelines, letter of appointment, and the peer review process, each department is responsible for making clear to new faculty members what work will (and will not) count toward the promotion and tenure decision. (Rev May 2019)

          Like research, any prior teaching or service plays its role in the hiring contract, the level of monies involved, and the responsibilities attached to it. Prior activity plays little or no role in the promotion except to form a meaningful context against which later development and accomplishments can be judged. There must be evidence of continuing productivity.

        6. Prestigious Grants. The acquisition of research or other grants, such as Guggenheim or NSF awards, is obviously a testimony to a person's competence and reputation and should be described in the dossier. The candidate's contribution, and the funds coming to the candidate, should be clearly indicated, especially in projects with multiple principal investigators.
        7. Reviews of Published Materials, Performance, or Exhibits.
        8. Unpublished Material. Unpublished material may in some circumstances be an important indicator of a candidate's competence and achievements. Its evaluation, however, must be especially thoughtful. In particular, if it is to be a formal part of the dossier, it should be sent to outside reviewers for a critical assessment of its merits. The comments are meant to apply to unpublished manuscripts as well as so-called "in house" publications, such as research reports that are not subject to an external review process.
        9. Other Evidence of Scholarship Appropriate to the Profession. This type of evidence, if important for a department, should be indicated in the department's promotion and tenure document.
    2. Service
      1. Service includes innumerable types of activities rendered for the benefit of the department, college, university, community, profession, or nation. Willingness to undertake such work and competence in performing it are taken into account in the promotion process. Evaluating service is difficult. Promotion and tenure committees need to know when there has been an outstanding level of service that has taken appreciable effort or service that has been done in some way that can be noted as excellent. Other than that, the main concern is that a person has fulfilled his or her service commitment under the criteria of the academic unit concerned and that the unit is satisfied. Administrative responsibilities can be considered as part of the service component, but they may not be used as a substitute for accomplishment in a scholarly discipline. (Section 4.4.9 Rev. 5/2016)